Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik shared a favorable view on Narendra Modi’s initiative for restructuring the planning commission. He wanted the new instrument to be designed in a manner that would ensure “just, fair and equitable resource allocation” to the states respecting the principle of federal polity.
In a meeting of Chief Ministers, convened by the PM in his residence the Odisha CM said,” The planning process and distribution of resources during last six decades have not entirely been guided by merit and necessity” as he approved the vision of transforming India in the spirit of Co-operative federalism for development. To justify restructuring of the central plan body he further added that the central plans have eroded the flexibility of the states in designing the development schemes suited for specific states.
He picked up a few points in the meeting regarding the unequal tax share between the center and states as a reference to set his view that an effective mechanism is needed to be created for sharing the tax revenues for enabling the states to prepare their plans based on local needs.
He said,” Odisha is contributing over Rs 14,000 crore annually or about one-tenth of the total revenues of the Indian Railways but the Railways have not been able to plough back even 20 per cent of the collected revenues into the state.” and added that Railway density in Odisha at 15 Km is significantly lower than the national average.
He viewed the effect of natural disasters on the resources and planning process to be taken into account while planning resource allocation. He referred Odisha’s struggle with frequent natural disasters for its economy to justify his state’s demand for a special state category with adequate flow of resources to address interstate disparities.
Referring to the huge damage caused to the infrastructure, lives and livelihood in the recent disasters in Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh Naveen Pattnaik said huge time, effort and resource is needed to rebuild the lives of people and economy of state.